Quinoa is a protein-packed food with a nutty taste and chewy texture. It has a higher protein content than wheat, barley or other major grains. One cup of quinoa has 9 grams, which trumps the protein-rich egg (6 grams). Quinoa contains all 8 of the essential amino acids and is a complete protein and a low-cholesterol source of complex carbohydrates. Rich in fibre, it is digested slowly and has a low glycemic index, helping you steer clear of the blood-sugar roller coaster.
As a complex carbohydrate, quinoa acts an internal cleanser, easing the progress of food through the digestive tract. Used regularly in your diet, quinoa can help keep you free of constipation and bloating. Unlike more common grains such as wheat, quinoa is gluten-free and can be enjoyed by people with digestive disorders, like coeliac disease. This versatile seed can be used in breads, soups or other foods where grains are a primary ingredient, offering a steady source of colon-cleansing fibre. The vitamin B and folate in quinoa also help the liver in its role of eliminating wastes from the body, adding to its detoxifying properties.
Quinoa is also a source of plant-derived calcium. Calcium builds and maintains bones and teeth, helps regulate the contraction of the heart, and facilitates nerve and muscle function. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 30 milligrams of calcium and as well as impressive quantities of potassium, magnesium and zinc, minerals that are crucial for heart, nerve and muscle function.
Quinoa’s vitamin B content can help keep the mind sharp, maintain brain volume and stabilise mood. So many good reasons to include quinoa in your diet. If you haven’t tried it, time to give it a go! Available from healthshops and supermarkets.